Cornell Plantations

Cornell Plantations

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Orientation Orientation

Later in the summer, I will be a faculty advisor for one session of Freshman Orientation. Today, we had two meetings to go over some of the details. In the first, SoB faculty met with the Assistant Dean and her assistant to learn about specifics relating to the school. In the second, all faculty advisors met to hear from representatives from the Provost’s office, housing, and academic support services.

Most of the information was fairly boilerplate, but I was interested in hearing from the head of academic support, who had information on helping our students with disabilities, such as scheduling students with attention deficit disorders in shorter classes or making sure students needing extra time on exams aren’t scheduled in back-to-back classes. Most interesting to me, though, was news that we might be having a fair number of students with Asperger’s Syndrome. Apparently, the students with Asperger’s who have come to campus have felt comfortable and we may be getting a reputation as a school that is able to handle the particular needs of these students. We were given advice on advising students with Asperger’s–much like the advice Marshall gave Mary in the episode “Her Days are Numbered” (In Plain Sight)–non-verbal cues are ineffective methods of communication, and we have to be direct, more direct than we will probably be comfortable with. We were reminded not to casually touch students with Asperger’s and that these students would likely not make eye contact.

After hearing from staff and administration, the twenty student orientation advisors introduced themselves in a fun and clever way. I had all three of the students representing the SoB, and I was so proud of them! Later, the SoB faculty in attendance and the student orientation aides along with the Assistant Dean had lunch together. At one point, two of the students talked about how they hated “Mike’s Bikes” the simulation that was part of World of Business from 2007-2008 (and was replaced by the more user-friendly BizCafe). I mentioned that the interface was very clunky and reminded me of DOS. One of the students asked, “What’s DOS?” We had a nice time and laughed a lot.

Blooming Tree

Originally uploaded by aimeedars

Campus is beautiful, and some classes are even meeting outside. I often have students ask if we can go outside, and I always say no. There are lots of good, legitimate reasons – the distractions, the loss of powerpoint and the chalkboard, the difficulty with writing space. But, the most pressing reason is that I don’t like it when classes meet outside. Even when I was in college, I dreaded if people asked if we could go outside, and I hated it if the professor agreed. I didn’t like the wet grass or the wind or the bugs.